Reviews, News, & Interviews

Crazy Rich Asians movie review: Represention Matters but Charisma Sells

By Leslie Combemale | August 15, 2018 | 0 Comments

Coming to theaters is the much anticipated movie Crazy Rich Asians, the first all-Asian cast film sent into wide release since 1993’s Joy Luck Club has taken over the entertainment news, which may mean impressive box office numbers.  Great. It deserves them. Based on the best-selling Kevin Kwan novel, this Cinderella tale is filled with frothy …

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The Miseducation of Cameron Post Review and Interviews: Real Life Horror with a Splash of John Hughes

By Leslie Combemale | August 9, 2018 | 0 Comments

The Miseducation of Cameron Post, a film based on the 2012 novel of the same name by Emily Danforth, is directed and co-written by queer American-Iranian filmmaker Desiree Akhavan.  This Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning indie tells a story that takes place in 1993 chronicling the misadventures of Cameron (Chloe Grace Moretz), a teen placed in a gay …

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Half the Picture Documentary Review: The Struggle and Commitment of Female Filmmakers Beautifully Revealed

By Leslie Combemale | August 5, 2018 | 0 Comments

Documentarian Amy Adrion has created what amounts to a love letter to female filmmakers in her new film, Half the Picture, which supporters of women in film will love to know is now available on demand*. I was at San Diego Comic-Con last week preparing for and conducting the panel Women Rocking Hollywood, that features women …

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Night Comes On Review: A gorgeous study in loss and sisterhood

By Leslie Combemale | August 2, 2018 | 0 Comments

This weekend you can see the new release Night Comes On on demand.  The directorial debut of actress/writer/director Jordana Spiro (of the show Ozarks) is co-written by The Shade Room’s  Angelica Nwandu partly based on the experiences of Nwandu’s childhood. It would never had come to fruition without the Sundance Institute’s Directors Lab and other grants, showing once again …

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Female Filmmakers at the movies: Leave No Trace & Boundaries

By Leslie Combemale | June 28, 2018 | 0 Comments

This week in movies sees the release of two films directed by women that focus on family. More specifically, they focus on father/daughter relationships. Leave No Trace and Boundaries are both road films, albeit of different sorts. Cinema Siren reviews them here, revealing who might enjoy them and who might want to avoid them. REVIEW: Leave No Trace I …

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Nancy & Ocean’s 8 Movie Reviews: Women Rule these June Joints

By Leslie Combemale | June 5, 2018 | 0 Comments

Complicated, multi-dimensional female characters are rarely portrayed onscreen.  It is even less common to see one that leaves the audience conflicted.  Those making decisions in Hollywood think surprises in the form of complicated women can be bad for business.  The result is that the 51% of filmgoers, aka WOMEN, are mostly treated to some version of 3 or …

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RBG Review: This Doc Shows Ruth Bader Ginsburg Giving Superhero Realness

By Leslie Combemale | May 3, 2018 | 0 Comments

I’m sure you all have heard about how audiences assembled for Avengers: Infinity War. The Marvel superhero movie has broken the record for the biggest opening weekend ever.  This weekend, another film, which features the closest thing to a real superhero we have in the US, is opening, and will make a great companion piece, especially if …

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The Rider: Art Exposing Life’s Heartache and Resilience

By Leslie Combemale | April 19, 2018 | 0 Comments

Sometimes there are films that remind us how grateful we are that independent films are released.  With my focus being female filmmakers, that is the world in which I largely dwell, since so few movies put out by the studios are woman-directed. In fact, only 3% of studio films released in 2018 have a woman at …

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Tomb Raider & Flower Movie Reviews: Of Cinematic Daddy Issues and Self-destruction

By Leslie Combemale | March 18, 2018 | 0 Comments

Opening in our area this and next weekend are two films that seem very unlike each other, given that one is a small indie film with an up-and-coming ingenue, and the other is led by an Oscar winner in the prime of her career.  Upon further inspection however, Flower, starring Zoey Deutch, and Tomb Raider, starring …

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A Wrinkle in Time Movie Review: So Centered in Joy, Cynics Need Not Apply

By Leslie Combemale | March 8, 2018 | 0 Comments

Sparkle alert!  If you’ve seen any of the trailers for the highly-publicized cinematic rendering of Madeline L’Engle’s classic 1962 children’s novel A Wrinkle in Time, you know sparkle figures prominently. Director Ava DuVernay, who has the distinction of being the first women of color to direct of live action film with a budget over 100 million …

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